PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  446

HENRY A SPAFARD,  a well-known resident of Hebron, Tolland county, belongs to a family, whose ancestry runs back to John Spafford (Spaffard), who came from England and settled in Massachusetts.

Thomas Spafford, one of the several children of John, was born in Rowley, Mass., June 6, 1678.  He came to Connecticut and settled in Lebanon in the early part of the 18th century.  In December, 1701, he married Bethial West, and they had a large and intelligent family.

Thomas Spafford (2) son of Thomas and Bethial, was married in 1735 to Sarah West, and had one son, Nathan and several daughters.

Nathan Spafford, son of Thomas (2) and Sarah, was a farmer in Lebanon.  He married Ann Cole, by whom he had many children.

Ebenezer Spafford, son of Nathan and Ann, was born in Lebanon, and there passed his life.  He held several offices, and was one of the substantial citizens.  He died in 1861, in the eighty-fourth year of his age.  In 1798 he married Lydia Wells, and to this union were born:  Lucy, who married Jesse Wilcox, a farmer, carpenter and joiner, and resided in Lebanon, where he died; Samuel, who died when a young man; Augustus, the grandfather of Henry A. Spafard; Polly, who married Henry Porter, and moved to Choconut, Penn., where he died, and she then returned to her father's home in Hebron, and died there, but her remains were interred at Choconut beside those of her husband.

Augustus Spafard was born Sept. 9, 1802, in Lebanon, where he attended the district school.  When a young man he learned the shoemaker's trade, which he followed in addition to farming.  In 1831 he bought a farm in Choconut, near the home of his sister and husband where he remained until 1836, when he removed to Hawleyton, N.Y., and there kept a hotel for many years.  Later in his life he was a farmer near Binghamton, that State.  In 1852 he came back to Lebanon to engage in farming, and there he died March 5, 1873, of gangrene of the foot.  Esther Porter, his wife, was born in 1804, daughter of Amos and Sarah (Webster) Porter; she died March 22, 1870.  Amos Porter was a weaver, and was a son of Amos Porter, who died of small pox contracted in the Revolutionary army.  The children of Mr. And Mrs. Spafard were:  Albert P., a farmer in New York, where he has many descendants, married (first) Ann Eliza Meeker, and (second) Mrs. Polly (Finch) Watson;  Henry Augustus is mentioned below;  Amos, a soldier in the war of the Union, lived in Lebanon, Conn., where he died in 1887, ten days after the death of his wife, Catherine E. Leonard, by whom he had two children, Hattie E. (wife of Charles M. Holbrook, of Willimantic, and the mother of Ella S.) and Adelaide L. (unmarried);  Harriet married Thomas A. Carpenter, a farmer, and died in Lebanon a month after her marriage.

Henry Augustus Spafard, noted above, was born June 5, 1831, in Lebanon, and was about three months old when his parents removed to Pennsylvania, where he attended the district school at Choconut a short time.  His parents then removed to Broome county, N.Y., where he attended school until he was eighteen, working during the summer season on the farm.  When he was twenty-one he accompanied his parents on their return to Lebanon.  For a year or more he worked on a farm, and then settled on the Porter homestead, consisting of 175 acres, which belonged to his wife, and which had been in the Porter family since it was secured from the Indians.  Mr. Spafard has been engaged all his life in general farming.  Although a Democrat before the war, that struggle made him a Republican,  For several terms he has been on the board of selectman, serving part of the time as first selectman, and he was assessor many years.  For over thirty years he was justice of the peace and only retired from that position when he reached the limit of age.  All the minor offices of Lebanon have been held by him, and he represented the town in the General Assembly of 1868.  The family belongs to the Exeter Congregational Church, of which he has been a deacon for over twenty years.

Mr. Spafard was married April 3, 1853, to Mary E. Porter, who was born in Lebanon, May 24, 1830, in the house they now occupy, the only child of Elisha P. and Mary C. Porter.  To them have been born the following children:  (1) Elisha Pratt, born Jan. 17, 1854, was educated in the high schools of Hebron, Columbia and Lebanon, and graduated from Eastman's Business College at Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in 1874.  After teaching school in Staten Island, and farming and teaching in Lebanon, Conn., he managed a store for P.W. Turner, at Turnerville, Conn.  In 1889 he entered the employ of the J.B. Williams Co. at Glastonbury, and is now head bookkeeper in their employ.  He was married Dec. 25, 1874, to Ida. S. Abel, by whom he has three children:  Lottie M., born June 14, 1876, is now a school teacher;  Henry P., born April 30, 1878; and Carrie B., born July 26, 1887.  (2) Emily Porter, born Jan. 26, 1857, was a teacher in Lebanon, and married Joel Tucker in 1874.  She died Sept. 27, 1891, in Columbia, where he was engaged in farming.  Their children were:  Eugene, born Nov. 1, 1879, died Feb. 23, 1892; and Florence Emily, born Sept. 15, 1887, now deceased.  (3) Henry Augustus, Jr., was born Nov. 13, 1860.  (4) Mary Elizabeth, born Jan. 22, 1865, married Horace Foote, a farmer, and they have their home in Exeter Society, in the town of Lebanon.  (5) John Avery, born Aug. 21, 1874, attended the district school and the Bacon Academy at Colchester, graduating from the Yale Law School in 1900, and was admitted to the Bar the same year.  He is now a practicing attorney at Bridgeport, Conn.  On June 30, 1898, he married Nettie E. Phillips, in Bridgeport.  Mrs. Spafard descends from one of the oldest families in Lebanon, her remote ancestor, John Porter, settling in Lebanon in an early day.  He was the father of three sons, of whom one was John, who settled in Exeter on a large tract of land near the North Pond.  Another was Reuben, whose son Ashel, married Mary Pratt, of Cooperstown, N.Y., by whom he had five children, three of them reaching maturity:  Elisha P., born Oct. 24, 1794, died April 4, 1853, married Mary C. Porter, born in September, 1802, and died June 27, 1830, by whom he had one daughter, Mary Elizabeth, the mother of Henry A. Spafard;  Mary, a maiden lady, died unmarried April 29, 1881, at the age of seventy-five years; and Betsey died in early womanhood.  All the Porters were farmers, and six of them resided on the farm now owned and occupied by the father of the gentleman whose name introduces this article.

Henry A. Spafard was born Nov. 13, 1860, on the farm now occupied by his parents in Lebanon, and was reared to manhood there.  His education was obtained in the district school and the school taught by his brother Elisha P. in Staten Island.  Until he was twenty-seven he lived at home and assisted in the care of the farm.  In 1888 he came to Hebron, and purchased the present home farm of forty acres, which was known as the "Bascom Place."  The house was thoroughly remodeled by him, and extensive improvements effected.  Twenty-five acres have been added to the original forty, and here he carries on farming and lumbering, getting out railroad timber, and other material from his wooded lots.

On March 29, 1881, Mr. Spafard was married in Columbia, Conn., to Mary Louisa Steadman Breed, who was born Sept. 18, 1853, in Chester, Mass., a daughter of Rev. David and Caroline (Lyman) Breed, natives of New Haven, and Woodstock, Conn., respectively.  To this union were born:  Leroy Lyman, Aug. 25, 1886; and Albert Cleveland, June 18, 1888.  Mr. Spafard is a Republican, and was sent to the General Assembly from Hebron in 1893, where he served on the committee on Forfeited Rights.  For several terms he was a member of the board of selectmen, has also been on the board of relief and the board of assessors, and for several years past he has been on the school committee.  Mr. Spafard is a member of the Hebron Lodge, A.O.U.W., and for the first five years of its organization was its secretary, and he also belongs to Wooster Lodge, F.&A.M., at Colchester.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Spafard belong to the Congregational Church.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel


Return to Main Page

This page was created by Linda Pingel on April 7, 2008
copyright 2008 - all rights reserved